Posts tagged alignment
Focus On: Iyengar Yoga

bks_iyengar_being_313Iyengar Yoga, named after its founder BKS Iyengar (pictured) is a form of hatha yoga which emphasises correct alignment in static poses. Poses are typically held for longer periods of time to develop strength, stability and integrity.

Props such as blocks, straps and bricks are often used to enable correct aligment and to assist students to achieve a safe pose which is correct for their unique body. In fact, Iyengar himself pioneered the use of props, recognising that no two bodies are exactly the same, or equally as able. As such, this is a wonderful style of yoga for anyone with physical limitations, or for those who prefer working at a more measured pace. Beginners start slowly, progressing gradually to more advanced poses. Between poses students rest in either Corpse Pose or Child's Pose - Iyengar classes do not feature "flowing" elements.

Unlike classes where students are invited to "find their way" into a pose, the teacher's dialogue during an Iyengar class is typically very precise and anatomically specific, directing the student into perfect alignment.

BKS Iyengar has published many influential books, including Light on Yoga, Light on Life and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He is widely regarded as a Yoga Master.

Click here to view our Iyengar schedule

GREAT FOR: strength, flexibility


Yogapractic - why knot?

knot“After one treatment, I was suddenly able to enjoy postures I’d pretty much given up on” -HL, Camyoga patient

Yoga is the perfect daily practice to keep you strong and flexible - so why would a dedicated yogi need chiropractic?

Here’s why: imagine you’re pulling a piece of elastic. It stretches equally along its whole length - just like a totally happy yoga body in a stretch. Now imagine the same piece of elastic, but this time a knot’s been tied in it, so there’s a loop in the middle. As you stretch the elastic this time, the long pieces stretch again. But there’s a loop that’s not joining in, because it can’t. In a human body, this could be because of muscle tightness, for example, or a tiny misalignment at a joint, or even an internal scar.

You might be looking at your elastic by now, wondering why it won’t reach as far as it used to. You might be devoted to your practice and stretch your human elastic more and more. You might focus your work on that area that gives you pain, won’t shift, or stiffens after practice.

Think, though. Which bit of this elastic is going to fray? The bit that’s going to fray is the piece that’s working, but working overtime. If one part of you is mysteriously sore (low-back, typically) or tight (hamstrings!), it could well be compensating for another part of you.

Chiropractic treatment goes straight for the knot. Why not come and see Mary at the Great Shelford studio, and discuss freeing yourself up for a spring forward in your yoga. 15-minute individual assessments are completely free of charge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMary is a registered McTimoney chiropractor and a Camyoga 200hr yoga teacher. She also uses myofascial release, massage and cranial laser therapy as appropriate. Chiropractors are Primary Care Practitioners and are regulated by the General Chiropractic Council. Email

Get to know Camyoga Teacher, Rachael Moore

Get to Know Camyoga Teacher: Rachael Moore

Rachael Moore

Name: Rachael

Age:  38

Occupation: Mum and yoga teacher

What brought you to yoga?

As with many people, I first came to yoga as many people do, to help combat 'stress' as a result of my job. I worked as a speech and language therapist for children with profound medical and learning difficulties and although hugely rewarding, it was also at times highly emotional and stressful. Yoga helped me find a way to deal with the challenges I faced in a calm and grounded manner, reacting to situations in a more balanced way.

As a teacher what is Yoga about and not about?

Oooh how long have you got!!!! It is probably easier for me to say what I personally think it is not. Yoga is not about being the best in the room, yoga is not about being competetive (even with yourself), yoga is not always the glossy images you see in the magazines, practising yoga, does not  mean that you no longer experience hardship or tough times (unfortunately). The practice of yoga is far greater and deeper than all of that. Yoga gives you the tools for everyday living, it helps you on every level of your being. Yoga releases your tired stiff body from sitting at a desk all day helping you re-find that childhood softness and agility. In helping you re-claim physical flexibility, this flexibilty then leads to greater flexibility in the mind and how we react to life situations off the matt. It leads you towards a truer more honest you! Wherever you are in your life, yoga can be there for you . It can transform the body physically, energeticly and emotionally. It can energize, detox, heal and nourish you . It can be a soft landing when you fall.

What do you do when you are not doing yoga?

Being mum to my three gorgeous daughters and being taken for a walk by my two huge labradoodles Molly and Floss! What is your favourite yoga pose and why?

Wow! It's almost impossible to choose one as depending where I am on any particular day will determine my favourite pose!. Generally though, I absolutely love and standing balance, especially Natarajasana for its openness and grace and Garudasana for that beautiful feeling of opening up the shoulders.

What is your least favourite yoga pose and why?

I know it sounds cheesy and a bit of a cop out, but I really don't have a least favourite pose. If pushed though, I probably shy away from strong core work a little more readily than I should do!

What is one quality you have taken off the mat and incorporated into your daily life? Patience

An interesting fact about Rachel that you may not know is:

I used to do synchronized swimming as a teenager!!

To book into Rachel's classes click on link


Headstand How To with Pilar and Ellie

Stemming from a discussion the other day about what part of the head you use for a headstand, Pilar and Ellie decided to make a few videos.  Below you will find Sirsasana A with Pilar and Sirsasana B with Ellie.  These videos are of course in addition to learning in class with your teacher present. Headstand is wonderful inversion that can stimulate the brain, energise the body and mind, and help you feeling strong.  It requires strength, flexibility, and practice.  So don't get discouraged if you don't come right up the first time you try.  When the body and mind are ready, the pose comes.

Typically we learn Sirsana A, before moving on to a tripod headstand.  Here it is:

Here in Sirsasana B, Ellie answers the question of what part of the head rests on the floor, and how to find it. In pressure point terms it is Du 20, the top of the head just up from the ears. Check out tripod below!

Ellie Coats is our Yoga for Athletes expert starting your day right on Tuesday mornings at 7:30.  Pilar teaches headstands and more inversions in her 2/3 classes.  Come along and have fun!

If you have just tuned in to the blog, check the many other videos we have made here at Camyoga under the video blog section of the site, and Subscribe on youtube.

Pilates Bootcamp

Are you ready to kick start a real body transformation? Are you looking for some extra core power in your yoga practice?

Pilates Bootcamp aims to increase strength and endurance and total body conditioning. The exercises focus on core training, body alignment and balance, using your own body weight and Pilates small equipment.

The class also includes a series of deep stretches and yoga asanas to improve posture, increase flexibilty and to aid relaxation at the end of the class.

Pilates Bootcamp with Lucy starts Wednesdays at 10:00 and Thursdays with Howard at 1:00.